The Art of Travelling

Title The Art of Travelling to Advantage
in An Account of the first Voyages and Discoveries Made by the Spaniards in America Containing the most Exact Relation Hitherto Publish'd, of their Unparallel'd Cruelties on the Indians, in the Destruction of above Forty Millions of People: with the Propositions Offer'd to the King of Spain to Prevent the Further Ruin of the West-Indies ... to which is added, The Art of Travelling, Shewing how a Man may Dispose his Travels to the best Advantage
Date 1699
Publisher by J. Darby for D. Brown
Type Section in a geographical account
Physical Description 8°, pp. 248, 40 (pagination starts over but not signatures).
Language English
Content Advice on educational benefits of travel
Advice on note taking and writing travels
General discussion of the utility of travel
Moral considerations of travel
NotesThe apodemic essay 'The Art of Travel' is not an original part of Las Casas's account and was probably added to the English translation of 1699 by either the translator or publisher. Its author remains anonymous.

'The Art of Travelling' is a fairly conventional late seventeenth century reworking of the apodemic tradition. The piece begins by favorably contrasting experiential learning to knowledge from books, comparing travelling to 'the Experiment of a Chymist'. It goes on to say that through travel a suitable and prepared individual can learn invaluable knowledge under three headings: religion, morality, and policy. The author then gives a lengthy account of the kind of individual who will gain these boons from travel. This person will be old enough to be prepared but not too old to take on new knowledge (aged 25 to 35), with the knowledge and natural capacity to learn and thrive in various environs, the temper of mind to be void of prejudice and yet serious, observant yet discreet, and possessed of appropriate linguistic skills. The essay also gives advice on what to observe, and how best to write an account of a foreign land. The author illustrates these points with many anecdotes of travellers.

This essay appears after the main text of 'An account of the first voyages and discoveries made by the Spaniards in America' (1699), pagination starts over (though not the signatures), pp. 1-40.

This edition is a translation of Bartolomé de las Casas's 'Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias' (1552, though written in 1542). This extremely important work was published in numerous languages and editions across Europe. English translations of this text appeared in the years 1583, 1625, 1656, [1663?], 1689, and 1699. The 1699 translation 'bears an important concordance with the French translation of 1698' (Delahaye, p. 48). It also contains the engravings of Theodore De Bry which accompanied previous editions. See Marieke Delahaye, 'Translation as a tool in the scramble for the Americas: A case study of some of the English translations of the 'Brevísima relación' by La Casas' in 'Politics, Policy and Power in Translation History', eds. Lieven D’hulst, Carol O’Sullivan, Michael Schreiber (2016), pp. 33-52.

Digital Copy Web Link
EEBO, reproduction of BL copy.